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Sanjy Subrahmanyan @ Ganjaym Annual Festival ‘Flights of Fantasy’ 22nd Nov ’15

Vocal :  Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ghatam : Perikavu L Sudheer

List:

01 sharaNAgata vatsala (varNam) – kadanakutUhalam – Calcutta Krishnamurthy

02 kari kaLabha mukham – sAvEri – Dikshitar

03 chalamElarA sAkEtarAma – mArgahindOLam – Thyagaraja ( S )

04  kaNDE kaNDE svAmiya bEDi koNDE – kannaDa – Purandara Dasa ( A,S )

05  marivErE dikkevarayya rAmA – Sanmukhapriya – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,N )

neraval @ ‘ (venkaTEsha nIvu) nannu brOvakayuNDuta nyAyamA’

06  viruttam ( kulam tarum selvam ) – mOhanam

nArAyaNa divya nAmam – mOhanam – Papanasam Sivan

07  RTP – kharaharapriya – chaturashra tripuTa x 2 , +1 eDuppu

pallavi line ‘ oru taram shivachidambaram enru chonnAlum pOdumE’

tani Avartanam

08  viruttam ( ADum mayilAy) – behAg

karpakAmbikai nI allavO – behAg – Papanasam Sivan

09  uyyAla lOkavayya – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja

09 thillAna ( nAdru dhIm tanana tana dhiraNA) – gambhIravANi – T K Govinda Rao

10 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

Certain concert, you shouldn’t waste your time in dissecting and picking your choices of alapana, tanam or swaraprasthana.  They are wholesomely good in few cases or every thing was good as in the case yesterday. One is left wanting for the choice of adjectives. I for one, think yesterday’s concert was one helluva affair.

But I still want to talk about a few for posterity. Its always good to go back to some of your concert experiences after a few years. This will be one such concert and hence for my own future use let me note a few.

The whole lift of the concert to me started with the swara prasthana of margahindolam. Outstanding stuff here between the lead singer and the ever following violinist. The long phrased, long lasted ending swaraprasthana was a treat, embellished by an equally awe inspiring return by Varadarajan. On the other hand, this increased the adrenaline levels of the percussionist , especially Venkatesh, and there was no holding him back after that. More on that later.

A short and beautiful ‘kannaDa’ alapana and a surprise selection of kriti was next. Probably a new addition to Sanjay’s repertoire and this could feature in a few concert this season.  Another rounds of great swaras mostly pivoting around the ‘ri’  ( in fact he started the swaras at ‘ri’ kande kande ).  Percussion by now was in exhilaration and Venkatesh was changing the mrudangam for every song.

Shanmukhapriya which followed next was the best of the evening and one of the best I’ve heard in many years. I dont remember listening to Sanjay singing shanmukhapriya any time in last 4-5  years. What scintillating alapana he sang and an equally grand return on violin.  If this is not enough, there was an outstanding neraval too.  Instead of the standard  ‘sannutAnga shrI venkatEsha nIvu’ , he selected the next line ‘nannu brOvakayuNDuta nyAyamA’ adding ‘venkatEsha nIvu’ at the beginning. Tremendous impact. Very well done and detailed. Goose pimples ( I’m a sucker for grand neravals). There was no swaras. Nice viruttam in mOhana on ‘nArAyaNa’ on the EkAdashi day, before ‘nArAyaNa divyanAmam’ was apt and nice.

Kharaharapriya was the main. Majestic alapana fitting to the occasion. Largely the standard phrases with some classy ‘akaara’ extentions typical of him.  Similar pattern and exploration from Varadarajan who seems to have taken a bit longer than usual. No complaints.  For once, I thought ‘rAmA nI samanamevaru’ is in the offing, probably the alapana was directing me towards that. He started tanam, which was again was the next peak of the evening. Brilliant. Pallavi was in usual Aditalam with a familair pallavi line. He did a detailed pallavi neraval, and there was no trikalam in the typical sense. He then launched into an elaborate swaraprsthana in two speeds as in the case of the main item. There was no ragamalika swaras which was obvious by now.

By now the percussion was unbearable to the ears. Tani Avartanam was extremely loud and was the typical ‘beat the s..t out’ of the mrudangam style by Venkatesh with matching head movement to the fingers. Unlike me the audience seems to have liked the ‘visual treat’ if not the nadam. Perikavu L Sudheer,  seeing him for the first time in Bangalore, probably was shaken to the roots by this exuberance was overwhelmed and did not attempt to match the leader. He succumbed after few strokes and returned it back to the main percussionist. Luckily, the whole tani avartanam lasted 7-8 minutes.

Another viruttam and a kriti from Papanasam Sivan in behag came post main, which otherwise had a neelambari kriti and gambheeravani thillana.

Apart from the top class concert presentation, I was also impressed with his selection of kritis today. The two viruttam’s that he sang and the kind of mix he provided. This will remain in memory for a long long time for sure.

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Posted by on November 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ Ganjam Flights of Fantacy , Chowdiah Memorial Hall, 23-Nov-2014

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

List:

01 vandana monarinciti (varNam) – vacaspati – Tiger Varadachary

02  mA kELarA vicAramu – ravichandrika – Thyagaraja ( S )

03  tyAgarAja yOga vaibhavam – Ananda bhairavi – Muthuswamy Dikshitar ( S )

04  narasimhuDu – kamalA manOhari – Mysore Sadashiva Rao ( A )

05  Ananda kUthADinAr ambalam tannilE – kalyANi – Gopalakrishna Bharati ( A,N,S )

neraval @ kAlai tUkki – Ananda kUthADinAr ambalam tannilE , ponnambalam tannilE    ( change to tOm tOm enru-ananda kUthADinAr… a few times )

06  vandanamu raghu nandanA – sahAna – tyAgarAja  (started at shrIdAma nAtO)

07 RTP – kalyANavasantam – chaturasra triputa x 2 kaLai , starting at  +1

pallavi line :  nIvErA kuladhanamu, nIvErA jIvanamu rAmA

rAgamAlika swaras in bEgaDa, bhairavi, pUrvikalyANi, husEni, kannaDa and darbAri kAnaDa

07b  tani Avartanam

08  dAsara nindisa bEDa – bhAgEshrI – Purandara Dasa

09  rInAmadanuta paripAlaya mAmayi – bihAg – Swathi Thirunal

10  uyyAla lUgavayyA – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja

11  rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Papanasam Sivan ( O )

12  mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

The first thing that was noticed and was appealing to the eyes were the stage decor and the ambient at the hall. Very tastefully decorated back stage, with a tinge of maroon, appropriate light on the stage, the hall lights dimmed to give the serious feeling about the event to start. Four, sparkling white clad artist on stage in contrast to the back drop. Great atmosphere to listen to an awesome concert that followed.

Sanjay started with another new varnam, this time the vacaspati varnam of Tiger Varadachary. His voice was patchy and wasn’t coming out well, giving a shiver through the spine for having traveled all the way across the city to listen to him. Even on a bad throat day, he usually delivers something that can be cherished, hence I wasn’t overtly worried. Luckily, the voice trouble did not last long. In the second kriti, it suddenly opened up and cleared, and it was more or less stable through out the evening. Ravichandrika swaras were very good. It also brought the percussion team into action, as one saw the excited ‘wiper’ movements of the head of Neyveli Venkatesh at its best.

Thyagaraja yoga vaibhavam to me was the start of the great things that followed. Beautifully sang the kriti and added some mesmerising kalpana swaras. Very interestingly sang the swaras at ‘tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam’ to start with and subsequently moving to ‘agaraja yoga vaibhavam’, raja yoga vaibhavam ..till bhavam and vam ( for these two he continued tyagaraja). Haven’t heard that from anyone before and I thought that was very nice. Kamala manohari ragam was the first of the alapana to come. Both Sanjay and Varadarajan sang a good alapana. Venky texted me ‘narasimhuDu’ a new favorite of Sanjay and so it was. Mysore Sadashiva Rao’s composition in ‘break-neck’ speed , probably do not have the appeal of the Dikshitar’s composition. I was expecting a quickfire swara rounds, but he decided otherwise.

Kalyani alapana was fabulous. Despite my cold shoulder towards this raga, I liked the alapana immensely. Very detailed, long alapana in typical style with many gestures and movements of Sanjay ( at one point he had a posture of ‘bow and arrow’ directing at violinist) was reciprocated by equally brilliant return from Varadarajan, after a short interlude. There seems to be some trouble with the shruti of the tanpura which Varadarajan seems to be not happy about. Sanjay did the damage control by re-tuning the tanpura before Varadarajan continued with his alapana.

Talking heads…talking heads all around at this time. Few stern look did not stop them from continuing. I had to resort to the techniques of the French Open Referees with a ‘S’il vous plaît ‘ to silence the talking heads. I also saw a large chain of people walking out during the violin alapana, probably seeking the relief of abdominal pressure, contrary to my suspicion of them being the fellow members of ‘Kalyani haters club’.

Back to the concert. Gopalakrishna Bharati’s ‘Ananda koothadinar ambalam tannile’ was outstanding. Kriti, more popular in the dance circuit as I was told, was very very good. He sang a splendid neraval taking from the last line of first charanam and mixing it with the pallavi line. It had tremendous impact and definitely was the high point of the concert to me. He made a couple of deviations to thOm thOm enru – ananda koothadinar, instead of kalai thooki ananda koothadinar , which again was a great idea. The kalpana swaram matching to the kriti and neraval in two speeds was as impressive. Surprisingly, there was no tani avartanam taken at this point but he started with ‘shrIdAma nAtO’ from the kriti vandanamu raghu nandana in sahana. He kept singing sEtu ‘bhandana’ instead of sEtu bandhana through out.

By now the expectation for a grand pallavi was on, as he skipped tani avartanam of the percussionist after kalyani. Kalyanavasantam alapana was very good by both the artists. Tanam was even better, and elaborate. Usually his tanams are very enjoyable, so was today. Pallavi line was improvised on the begada kriti, set to adi talam. There was no trikalam for neither pallavi nor swaras. He sang ragamalika swaras in bEgaDa, bhairavi, pUrvikalyANi, husEni, kannaDa in quick succession and then launched into a phenomenal five minute bliss of darbari kAnada swaras. What all did he try in that.. including an attempt to sing a hindustani-ish take. The applause at the end of it as ever lasting. A waiting Varadarajan ( to end the applause) was prompted by Sanjay to start his play. Varadarajan as he did through out the day made another brilliant reply including the hindustani style phrases. However, towards the end  the percussion was so loud with excited bashing, we could hardly hear him playing. The percussion team played a commendable tani avartanam. Guruprasanna, especially, was very very good.

As it was already late, he sang few kritis post main. The bihag kriti of Swathi Thirunal was very nice. There was no viruttam, which probably cold have been included in place of a piece. But who is complaining after the feast that was served. Indeed a grand finish to the 3 day long Ganjam Festival.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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